working as RN part-time during med school?

  1. I'm currently earning my BSN and have decided that I would like to go to medical school following graduation. I would like to work as an RN during my 4 years of med school and am wondering if anyone has ever done this, IS doing this or knows someone who has? It would be part-time and potentially odd hours. I'm looking forward to, eventually, being an MD (at this point I am interested in Radiology, but that may change) with experience from a nurses perspective. Looking forward to your feedback- Thanks much!
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    About meddecisions

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 3


  3. by   fiveofpeep
    have you completed the med school pre reqs and mcat? this has been discussed previously...try searching for it
  4. by   meddecisions
    Thanks! I am new to the boards and will certainly search for that. Yes, I will have completed all prereq's and taken the MCAT before I begin the AMCAS process. Actually, it was the BSN core biology courses and organic chem that got me thinking about medical school. I mean, what else do you do when you get super excited to take biochem and molecular biology as electives??! I love patient care, so, if I can combine that with gobs of science then I'm in heaven.
  5. by   blondy2061h
    If you're in CRNA school, many programs won't allow you to work even part time during the program because it's just so intensive. I imagine med school would be even worse. I would imagine it's extremely rare for anyone to work any job during med school. Further, as a new grad, you're going to have a hard time finding a place that is willing to hire and orient you to only work part time. This is particularly true with the economy making jobs scarce in parts of the country. Further, med school is extremely stressful. Working as an RN for the first time isn't an easy adjustment. It's also typically an extremely stressful time. I loved my job right off the bat, was always a good student, and here I am 18 months later still rather stressed out by my job some days.

    I hate to be a debbie downer, and I definitely encourage you to pursue med school if that's what you want to do, but I don't see this working.
  6. by   shiccy
    I was actually in pre-med before deciding to change to a BSN, and part of the decision process was the amount of time it'd take to complete my education... typically post-BA it takes 8-12 years to finish med school and residency. If you're specializing, it may and probably will take even longer.

    Just something to keep in mind... you could totally do it, but it will definitely be taxing on you and test your determination!
  7. by   Mollypita
    If you do manage to get to med school, probably working private duty per diem would be your best bet. A lot of these jobs allow you "down time" during which you could study. But like others said, with med school being all-consuming, it wouldn't be easy. Good luck!
  8. by   diane227
    Most hospitals will not hire new grads into their float pool. And they usually won't hire them per diem because the cost benefit ratio is too high. They would have to spend too much time and money orienting you and you would not be able to work much so it would not be worth it for them. Agencies might not hire you because you have no experience. I am not sure how to advise you on this because having been a manager I have had nurses who have gone on into medical school but they have worked as nurses for a few years before they did. I know if I was a manager and a new grad wanted a part time job while he/she was in medical school I would not hire that person until they came back with some experience.
  9. by   MagsMom
    Some medical schools require you sign an agreement that you will not work during the academic year (this is how it was when my ex was in medical school). They expected you to take out loans to pay for expenses or, in my case, have a spouse who is willing to sweat blood to get you through! Some students worked in the summer between first and second year but I knew no one who worked at any other time. For what it's worth there was one nurse in his class and she did quite well, however, she had been a nurse for about 10 years and an FNP for about 5 years before med school. She was amazing and was looking to expand her scope of practice.

    Just curious, though, why would you want to go into radiology if you love patient care so much. Seems like an odd combination.
  10. by   Student4_life
    Not possiable, no way no how. My fiancee is in medical school and there is now way to work and go to school. You just need to learn so much in such a short amount of time that there really isn't time to work. She earned strait A's with 2 Majors in undergrad and worked two different jobs (one was teaching the MCAT and the other was working for the college) for over 30 hours a week, so she can definately learn quickly but now she spends all but one-two hours a day either sleeping studying or going to school. So no you cannot work and go to med school at the same time, especially as a new nurse that is going to be at the bottom of the pile. You can however look into becoming a DNP. I hear that unlike medical school, you can take courses for that part time.
  11. by   pryncessamanda
    If you are able to work during med school, home health care is a great idea. The schedule is very flexible and a lot of time you can pick and chose your hours. Also since there is a lot of down time it would be perfect for a the studying and reading you are going to have to do. You may get paid less than a hospital but it has a lot to offer considering your situation. Good luck!
  12. by   BmoreCRNP
    I think I agree with the folks who said this isn't possible. I really don't see it working, especially since you are new. Remember that med-students have "clinicals." I they call it practicum or something else. The schedule varies depending on what rotation you're on (inpatient, oupatient, etc). You have to rotate between days, nights, and weekends. There are times when you have to be on call for 24 or more hours, sometimes sleeping at the facility in the on call room (I used to feel sorry for them). If you are working as a nurse, you have to find a job with the kind of flexibility that you will need. Like someone else said, since you're a new grad, this may be very difficult.
  13. by   BluegrassRN
    It might be a good idea for you to work a year or so between graduation and med school. You'll save some money, but more than that, you'll gain A LOT of experience.

    We had a nurse on our floor do this not too long ago. She worked full time for a year, then entered med school. She worked prn for quite a while. The first two years of med school she really found fairly easy, and ended up working prn probably 4-8 days a month for us. By the last semester of her last year of med school, she wasn't able to work for us anymore at all. She graduated last year, I hope that after she's done with her residencies she'll come back and work for us as a hospitalist.

    Good luck!
  14. by   meddecisions
    I'd like to say thank you to everyone who replied to my post. I really appreciate the time you all took to respond. I've been able to collect quite a bit of information over the past day or so from a variety of sources. It wouldn't have been possible without people taking time to post to different message boards, write blogs, etc. So, thanks again. I think it's fair to say that there are always reasons not to pretty much anything. That being said, for any nurses or nursing students out there who are thinking about medical school, here are some motivational findings:

    -Many medical students work a little bit each week. The reason for working varies individually.
    -It seems almost necessary to work/volunteer/do interesting extra-curricular things in order to be a competitive candidate in the resident match. In addition to doing well academically.
    -Every medical school I have researched has encouraged students to actively pursue things outside of classes. Duke School of Medicine, for example, really seems to encourage individual interests and growth.
    -It seems that many medical students became interested in becoming doctors after working in a health profession initially, including RN's.

    The ability to work as an RN while in school seems to vary by individual and location, but is possible and is being done.

    I was really surprised at the amount of feedback about new nursing grad's having difficulty getting hired. Is this for grad's from good BSN programs with strong clinical experience? It was my impression that major medical centers and health care systems have established incentives like tuition reimbursement (they are really good, like 100%) because they are actively seeking out these RN's. A lot of them are really financially invested in specific schools for this reason as well. Is this incorrect??